Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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1) June. The ARU (Australian Rugby Union) realises that its attempt to win the RWC at the end of 2007 is in tatters and launches another raid on the NRL by attempting to buy out the contracts of 30 NRL stars. If successful it would bring the number of decent Football players playing Rugby Union in Australia to 33. They withdraw their attempt when it is pointed out that the going rate for turncoats is now $1,000,000.00 per season and the ARU doesn?t have that kind of money lying around ARU HQ or, as it is more commonly known, The Whorehouse.
2) March. A fan faints when he logs into Microsoft Outlook Express and finds what appears to be a reply to a critical email he sent to the NRL some three years prior. When the fan gathers himself he clicks on the email only to read the words ?Get behind me Satan?. It seems the NRL still haven?t become accustomed to this new-fangled Internet thingy after all.
3) July. The Gold Coast management team finds that the majority of NRL fans, in the time-honoured Australian way of abridging words to a more vulgar slang version, have re-named the Titans ?The Tits?.
In answer to this outrage, from the 1st of August 2007, the Gold Coast will no longer be nicknamed the Titans; they will be called the Gold Coast ?Snatchers?.
4) May. Steve Turner, the subject of much speculation as to his playing future in the off-season realises that he actually doesn?t want to play with the Storm and asks for a mid-season release so he can move to the Gold Coast NRL side. When the Storm deny his request and the Gold Coast ignore it he sits in a corner of Olympic Park kicking and screaming for three months in an attempt to get his way. It fails; he is released and snapped up by the ARU. This brings the number of actual Footballers playing under the ARU banner to 4 and significantly increases their chances in the RWC.
5) June. The NRL and the ESL meet to discuss the player drain from the NRL to the ESL. The NRL suggests that they should limit the number of players per ESL signed from the NRL. The ESL agrees and recommends that 17 players only per ESL team can be signed from the NRL. The NRL is aghast at the number offered, negotiates it down to 15 per team and feels content with the outcome until someone points out the bleedin? obvious.
6) Now. The AFL finally acknowledges that to play Australian Rules Football, talent for the game is not a requirement by drafting players who have never actually played a game of Australian Rules.
My apologies, that isn?t a joke.
7) September. The Australian Government announces that all future migrants to Australia will have to adopt a Rugby League or AFL team and move into that teams? area before they?ll be allowed in. Each potential Australian citizen is then shown a highlight DVD of both games. Overseas migration to Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania ceases immediately.
8) January. Mat Rogers returns to the NRL to play with the Gold Coast Titans/Snatchers. At Rogers? first training session the Gold Coast Coach, John Cartwright, asks Rogers to show him what he learned whilst playing Rugby Union. Rogers spends the next 80 minutes staring at his feet.
9) April. Sonny Bill Williams? management releases a statement announcing that Sonny Bill has met with the ACF (Australian Croquet Federation), the ADTA (Australian Dwarf Tossing Association), the AHGF (Australian Highland Games Federation) and the ALDA (Australian Lawn Darts Association). They go on to say that each organisation has offered Sonny Bill more than one million dollars per season for the next three years.
Two weeks later Sonny Bill re-signs with The Canterbury Bulldogs and sacks his management team who move onto something closer to their true aptitude, standing in the dole queue.
10) February. The NRL realises its error from 2006 and changes the play-the-ball rule to keep holding the player down in tackles to a minimum thus ensuring that the faster more skillful sides rise to the top. The moment this happens, a hundred pigs are seeing flying over the Harbour Bridge by thousands of people who aren?t drunk or stoned and visitors from Mars land a spacecraft on Moore Park and after alighting say ?Take me to your leader?.